Press Statement of the Israelite Religious Community in Vienna

Israelite Religious Community
Vienna (05/25/05)

We want to thank all those who have made it possible to reach a satisfying agreement for all parties to the questions pending for a long time between the Kultusgemeinde and the Federal Government. First of all we want to thank the Federal Chancellor, Dr. Wolfgang Schüssel, followed by the President of the National Council, University Professor Dr. Andreas Khol, the members of the Board of the Reconciliation Fund, and last but not least, all those of good will who - openly or in the background - have paved the way for the agreement reached today.

In today’s meeting of the General Settlement Fund the decision has been taken that the Israelite Religious Community in Vienna will receive an amount of 18.2 million Euros in recognition of the losses and damages reported by the Jewish communities in Austria to the General Settlement Fund. In consideration of that, the Israelite Religious Community in Vienna will withdraw the applications submitted by it to the General Settlement Fund so that the total amount of General Settlement Fund which is limited to US$210 million will remain undiminished for the large number of the remaining applicants. This is in harmony with the repeated declarations by the Israelite Religious Community in Vienna that the total amount to the distributed shall exclusively benefit the individual victims of the National Socialist regime or their heirs. And, in addition, it shall also become possible to speed up the processing of the remaining applications and to thus allow for a quicker pay-out to the victims.

The Israelite Religious Community in Vienna also declares its intention to withdraw from all matters connected with the class action of "Whiteman, et. al. v. Republic of Austria, et. al." as "amicus curiae." The Israelite Religious Community in Vienna shall nevertheless continue to strive that the legal closure required for distributions from the General Settlement Fund will enter into force as soon as possible.